In August 2013, DBC were asked by the staff of the newly-opened Dean Wood Residential Care Home in Woodingdean if we could provide a Team to hold a short service on a Sunday afternoon for the few residents who were already settled there, visiting relatives and friends. Since then, a Team leads a monthly time of singing some of the older hymns (which, on occasions, the residents choose themselves), a Bible reading, short prayers and a few minutes given to a simple Bible-based message.
On the Sunday before Christmas, we currently transfer our morning service from it’s usual location in the school to the Home where we have run a service of lessons and carols, again with a Bible-based message. On these occasions up to about 40 people have joined in and enjoyed the time together.
As a result of our ongoing visits, we have also been able to spend time after the services chatting with residents, visitors and staff. In addition, a few of the residents have asked for a personal visit in their own rooms from our minister or other members of our Team.
We are grateful for the goodwill which has developed over our time of getting to know the folk in Dean Wood and appreciate the encouragement and support we have received which allows us to continue.
The ethos of Dean Wood is to enable the residents to maintain as much contact with the local community as possible, especially for those who are limited in their ability to personally take part in activities away from the Home. As representatives of a local church community, we are delighted to have the opportunity to assist Dean Wood to that end.
2019 planned visits at 4pm unless otherwise stated:-
On the third Sunday in Advent, DBC decamped to Dean Wood Care Home in Woodingdean to conduct a morning service for the residents. Members of staff joined us to swell the numbers and around 50 people gathered for an hour of traditional carols and readings.
It was a joyful occasion. John asked the questions, what is the essence of Christmas? Why did Jesus come? Well, one of the reasons is to bring lasting peace on earth. We all need peace!
John retold the beautiful story of the Christmas Truce in 1914. It is often celebrated as a symbolic moment of peace in an otherwise devastatingly violent war. We may like to believe that for just one day, all across the Western Front, men from both sides emerged from the trenches and met in No Man’s Land to exchange gifts and play football, however this brief festive reprieve was far from a mass event. Where it didn’t occur, Christmas Day was a day of war like any other. Where it did, accounts say that men from both sides sang carols, left their trenches and met in No Man’s Land. It was only a brief respite of hostilities though – a fragile peace! John reminded us that God sent His son Jesus into the world. He is the Prince of Peace and the bringer of peace; a peace that will last for ever. This brings us hope and comfort.
It is such a blessing to go and share the good news of Jesus with the lovely folk at Dean Wood. There isn’t the opportunity for residents to go to church and so to visit the home on a monthly basis and to conduct a carol service is a real joy for the DBC team. It is evident that it means so much to the residents. To sing hymns/carols and listen to familiar Bible stories and verses jogs the memory and brings a sense of well-being and peace.
We look forward to continuing our visits to Dean Wood in 2019.